Those of you who know me, already know the story of my Zoey – Bali Dog Extraordinaire. To be honest, he’s actually just a pretty ordinary dog. This isn’t just a blog about my dog though (not that I think there would be anything wrong with that!). It’s a blog about all Bali Heritage Dogs, their history and their future. It just so happens I have a fabulously crazy Bali Dog who loves attention and makes a great poster child dog for this story.
I found Zoey behind the temple at my house. He was easily the sickest, mankiest, most unloved, scrawniest and most unfortunate looking dog I have ever seen. And they were just his health issues on the outside! Then I went and named HIM Zoey. He couldn’t walk and just dragged himself around by his front legs so I never saw…realised…well, you know…and he had a pretty little face so I called him Zoey. In my defense, he was unable to walk, emaciated and very very sick. Confusion over his name was the least of his concerns. This is what Zoey looked like when I first found him and also what he looked like just two weeks later (his back legs were still not working – it took about 5 weeks before he could walk properly).
It took time but eventually Zoey started walking, getting strong and healthy. Now he’s a 15kg dopey but loyal and loveable dog. Who likes spending his days barking at frangipani flowers for no good reason and moving around the rocks in the garden. He also likes to bark at The American and then lay down at his feet for a pat. He secretly loves The American but he’ll never let The American know that. Because of Zoey, I started learning about the Bali Heritage Dog.
The Bali Heritage Dog and Kintamani have been proven to be the oldest dogs known to mankind. Their DNA is a combination of Australian Dingo, Chinese Chow-Chow and the Akita from Japan. Genetically this dog is unique and needs protecting. If you’ve been to Bali, you’ve no doubt seen dogs wandering around picking through rubbish. I realise it doesn’t look good but they are just doing what they have done for centuries – roaming and foraging for food. As countries develop and need more land for progress, animals like the Bali Dog have had to learn to adapt. So instead of roaming and foraging in the jungle or rice fields like they would have before, they are now doing this in the streets of Bali.
I also realise that sometimes these roaming and wandering dogs don’t always look all that flash either. Skin disease and a simple case of worms can drastically affect how a dog looks. But a lot of times all that is required is a good bath, skin treatment and worming tablet and in no time you’ve got a beautiful and healthy dog. Add to that a vaccination for dog diseases and sterilisation, and suddenly the scrawny street dog becomes a much loved member of the house-hold, just like my Zoey.
Now as much as I would love to take in as many dogs as I can, including these two gorgeous puppies some beautiful friends found, I can’t do that and neither can anyone else.
But vaccinations, health care and sterilisations cost money. So the Bali Dogs need some help. While in Bali, I have been lucky enough to meet a woman called Lola Webber. Lola has become a dear friend and I greatly admire the work she does. Lola works for a charity called Change For Animals Foundation and their work impact animals globally, including supporting the Bali Dog.
Launched in 2012, Change For Animals Foundation (CFAF) is committed to improving the lives of animals throughout the world by delivering collaborative campaigns and promoting a compassionate attitude towards all animals. By operating without expensive overheads, CFAF commits all funds directly towards ending animal suffering. We believe the fastest way to do this is through working in partnership with other groups, pooling resources and combining expertise, so that our shared goals are reached more quickly and efficiently than if we operated in isolation. To this end, we have co-founded international alliances to tackle some of the most pressing animal welfare issues around the world.
Lola can remember joining her first animal protection group at the age of 6, holding cake sales and washing cars to raise money. Her work involves education, planning and awareness as well as animal rescues including the recent rescue of many dogs from a dog farm in Korea, the story went around the world and was covered by many news reports. If you are an animal lover, you probably already donate or have donated to your favourite animal charity. But if you would like to help a charity like Change For Animals Foundation, and every cent counts, please hit their logo on our home page. Zoey and all his little Bali Dog friends say woof…which is dog for thanks!